A Hot Item Called Heat

Icy weather is stoking the price of natural-gas futures

Chicago steelmaker A. Finkl & Sons Co. could fuel its 35 blast furnaces with oil or electricity instead of the natural gas it now burns. Yet even as gas prices spiked up during the past two months, President Bruce Liimatainen has been sitting tight. "It's a short-term blip in the market," he says.

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